Today marks the first day of the GBCC’s Growth Through People campaign as we begin a busy four weeks delivering a range of events, training sessions, blog posts, and articles to help our members more effectively manage and engage their workforce. Throughout the campaign we will be working with partners to highlight techniques and information that will help business leaders, particularly those in charge of SME businesses, to drive growth and increase productivity through improved management of their employees.
The GBCC works with thousands of businesses and we recognise that people are at the heart of each and every one of them. From global organisations employing huge numbers of people, to small enterprises made up of focussed teams, people are responsible for creating the products and delivering the services that make businesses tick. Employees are also, more often than not, the largest expenditure for a business so it is incredibly important that they are managed in a positive and structured way.
Productivity is an increasingly hot topic for business leaders and politicians. West Midlands Combined Authority estimates suggest that there is a £16billion output gap between the West Midlands and the national average. Productivity is also an issue at the national level with Phillip Hammond highlighting in his 2016 Autumn Statement that UK productivity is 30% lower than in the US and Germany.
As highlighted in our Birmingham Economic Review, skills gaps are also a longstanding concern for the region’s business community. The Birmingham Skills and Investment Plan indicates that there could be a shortage of 46,000 high skilled workers in the city over the next 10 years. These are worrying signals however they create a strong rationale for businesses to invest in their people in the present so that they can develop talent and proactively strengthen their workforce. The Department for Education highlights that levels of employer investment in training have declined rapidly over the last 20 years so we hope to support businesses by providing a variety of free-of-charge training sessions and seminar throughout the campaign.
More broadly, Growth Through People seeks to share the message that small adjustments and the adoption of simple processes can have a tangible impact upon productivity, skills, and growth within SME businesses.
Our menu of activity explores the topic of people management from a number of different angles including leadership styles, essential employment law, and the impacts of unconscious social influence on the workplace. To kick off the campaign, this week we will be looking at the free people management resources that businesses can access, effective apprenticeship management, and hearing directly from business leaders about why they invest in their people.
You will also want to keep an eye on the GBCC social media accounts to stay up to date with our series of expert blog posts and articles.